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By Larry Wilson - Pasadena Star News


Pasadena, CA, July 21st 2015 - Cannes or Sundance we are not, all that grooviest arts town of the West stuff notwithstanding. But I’ve always been intrigued by and yet have never got to the Pasadena International Film Festival, which will next have a run at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 next March, along with a swinging party at the newly revamped Constance Hotel across the street from the Star-News.

Fancy dresses, evening wear, but no yachts or ski slopes. Will there be arguments over whether the fancy women can wear flats or have to strap on those awfully high heels, as there was in France this summer? We can only hope.


While the festival itself is not till late next winter, I noticed that the early-bird deadline for entries is coming up Aug. 7th. And while I doubt many West San Gabriel Valley-ites have completed, 40-minute-plus films or, separately, short subjects sitting in a film can in their desk or in a few gigabytes of storage on their computers, I know for a fact that a passel of our neighbors has a screenplay or seven in their desk drawers at home.

And unproduced screenplays are a category in the PIFF’s awards.


What’s the harm in dusting off those 120 pages you worked so hard on and sending them in? Check it out at

• What is this, the Hollywood Reporter? But I have news from the Great White North that ex-La Canada Flintridger John Kent Harrison just helmed and then wrapped a new version of the classic “Anne of Green Gables” featuring Martin Sheen as the old gent who takes in the little orphan on far-flung Prince Edward Island. John has lots of screenplays in the desk as well but some dozen of his have actually been made, including “Pope John Paul II” starring Jon Voight. Then, for those of us who have a novel sitting in the drawer rather than a movie, comes the heartening news that Pasadena freelance writer Dan Miller not only recently published his golf novel “Macrihanish”; he also pulled up stakes this summer and moved to Scotland for three years, renting a cottage next door to a duke’s estate, so that he can play even more golf than he does here. Dan has actually been leading golf trips to Scotland and Ireland for years now, but moving there is a real commitment to the wind and the rain and the game ...


• In this Playhouse District, where a working person has to eat as well as slaving away at the keyboard among the creative classes, there has been much speculation about which restaurants will go into the two big old-brick one-story spaces on South El Molino Avenue in the new Playhouse Plaza. Maybe they have been wondering that since I wrote about looking out the window at the buildings from the upstairs library of the real Pasadena Playhouse with its executive director, Sheldon Epps, who said he’d heard one would be upscale, one cool and hip. The word going around now is that the casual place will be occupied by an outlet of a gourmet food-truck restaurant that recently won a big food-truck award. Food trucks have awards? You could look it up, and I did, and the most recent awards for L.A. rolling kitchens seems to be on Gayot, “the guide to the good life.” Mmm — Border Grill? It’s in the Top 10. I dug it when a branch of the Two Hot Tamales’ downtown and Santa Monica restaurants was in the Paseo Colorado, but it didn’t work out for some reason. Maybe it would in this more walkable location. Coolhaus? That ice cream sandwich is already in Old Pas. The Grilled Cheese Truck? Make mine strictly cheddar. It parks outside Everson Royce a lot, as does Heirloom. Mmm — Kogi? Well, we brought Roy Choi to the Playhouse District in May for LitFest Pasadena, and he seemed to dig the scene, as well as having a great interview with Jonathan Gold in the Vroman’s courtyard and passing out fine food. And an eater can dream.



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